We Are Breaking Up With GoBricks

As GoBricks preferred to remain absolutely silent for more than a week ignoring all attempts to make contact, we take it that they have no intention to fulfil our orders or even start negotiations. Regardless of the reasons for this behaviour, it is outrageously disrespectful not only to us, but to all our customers and the entire community, and hence is absolutely unacceptable.

We are no longer willing to deal with a company that prefers to ignore issues rather than try to resolve them, and therefore are going to start cancelling and refunding the unfulfilled orders. We kindly ask those customers whose orders are affected to please be patient, because due to the complexity of the cancellation procedure and the number of orders we will have to cancel, this is going to take us some time. We aim to complete the process by the next Tuesday at the latest.

Now, we would like to use this opportunity to clarify our motivation and vision and will cover the following topics:

Why We Decided to Publicly Blame GoBricks

To all those people saying that what we did was not that smart for a business totally dependant on GoBricks, we want to emphasise that first of all we are bricks fans ourselves and only then businesspeople looking for opportunities to earn money. That is why we have received so much positive feedback and earned a lot of appraisal from our customers yet have not become profitable being one and a half years in the market. And that is why in the current situation we tried very hard to act in the best interest of our customers and the wider community, but not in the best interest of our business.

Yes, we understand that by making the current situation public we most likely killed the business, but we strongly believe that GoBricks’ totally unjustified desire to set overly high international prices (more on that below) was too bad for the community to hush it up.

Based on our current experience and the GoBricks’ blatantly uncaring attitude towards us and our customers, we do not recommend buying their products. Please do not make the same mistake we did by letting the high quality of their parts alone fool you. We hope that our case clearly demonstrated to everyone that the company that managed to achieve such quality of products completely failed at establishing quality customer service and public and business relations.

If you are willing to show GoBricks that they are wrong, please do not buy their products and spread the word about us and this situation.

The Actual Way GoBricks Wants to Trade Internationally

It is clear now that GoBricks wants all international pre-tax prices to be no lower than their own prices on Alibaba. And since we do understand a thing or two about business, we’re quite certain that they simply cannot make those prices lower due to all sorts of fees and costs related to selling their products on a monopoly-owned marketplace that they must account for. What we still do not understand, however, is why they have always been so reluctant to see us as their partners who had the necessary expertise, knowledge and technology to keep those costs lower.

If you think that GoBricks is planning international expansion, we are going to upset you. We thought so, too. But over the time it turned out that they had no idea how to deal with the international market.

Up until recently, they didn’t even understand whether their Alibaba prices were tax-inclusive or not. Actually, they are really struggling with understanding international taxes in general, and how and when they should be applied, charged, reported and paid. Not a good a thing for a company aiming for selling internationally on its own, right?

They also had to learn the hard way that they needed to have certain documents ready to be able to legally export their products to Europe and North America. For example, selling their products to the EU for years, they had never heard of the EU Declaration of Conformity, which by law they must have had from the moment they started shipping to the EU.

Even packaging items well enough for them to survive international travel is still a task beyond their capabilities. No matter how many times we told them they needed to stop packaging thousands of parts into a single bag, because that way they got scratched and stained, little has changed. Just like in the current situation, they prefer to ignore the issue rather than resolve it. And just like in the current situation, we decided to act in the best interest of our customers and so came up with our own solution.

Therefore, we are certain that neither do they know how to conform to all sorts of national and international regulations, nor how to prepare items for long haul shipping, nor how to select shipping carriers, nor how to perform customs clearance, nor how to provide quality support and after sales service.

All those things make it clear why GoBricks prefers to go the easy way by trading on Alibaba and commanding the same high retail prices to all resellers, and why in the foreseeable future you won’t see them launching their own international website that requires a lot of investment and a good understanding of the peculiarities of international trade.

So while some are questioning why would a reseller company publicly confront its own supplier risking its business, we are questioning why would a company with poor understanding and little experience of trading globally constantly ignore someone with much better understanding, a lot more experience, and a highly customised trading platform, and instead of joining forces with them to gain even stronger competitive advantage and even greater market share would prefer to force them to raise the prices making own products less competitive in the international market.

But now that GoBricks made its choice, should they decide to truly enter the global market some time later, we will no longer be here to help them with our expertise, knowledge and technology we’ve been offering them all this time. So instead, they will have to hire some other companies who would do the dirty work for them, but rest assured that their service bills would also affect the international prices, and quite unlikely in a positive way.

The Danger of the Shadow Market

Meanwhile, we are almost certain we’ll see a shadow market of fake and underpriced products start evolving soon. That’s an inevitable result of when one sets international prices to be almost twice as high as the domestic ones. We warned GoBricks about that unpleasant effect, but they assured us they were in full control of the situation. The fact is, however, that the market already exists and somehow they overlooked that.

To those of you who are going to start looking for other places to buy GoBricks parts regardless of our recommendation, we have to warn you that keeping the prices low while offering high quality products and services and doing business legally is not an easy task. Therefore, if you see prices that seem to be too attractive, think twice before making a purchase. You may get fake products or even no products at all, or your money may end up in some bad hands.

That is why we always emphasised that our prices were reasonable and paid particular attention to clearly communicating the reasoning each time we had to change them. The price change announcement we made last week was no exception, but GoBricks was so offended by us being honest with the customers that they immediately stopped all communication and order fulfilment. Obviously, openness and honesty are not the things they value. Too bad we had to learn it the hard way.

Our Next Steps

For us it is time to start looking for other companies that would be more inclined to collaborate with us and listen to the community. We will share more details on our plans next week.

For now, we invite everyone who wants to discuss this situation, ask us questions, or talk to us directly to our Discord server.